Warriors still hunting for sponsor

Wigan Warriors are still hunting for a new sponsor in time for the 2009 campaign.

JJB Sports decided not to renew their sponsorship deal which expired earlier this year, and that has left Warriors searching for fresh investment during an increasingly tough economic climate.

Warriors chief executive Mick Hogan said: "This is by far and away the hardest time I have known in eight years dealing with sponsors.

"However, we are not prepared to do a deal for less than what we think we are worth.

"We are still talking to people, but the problem with a lot of companies is that they are laying staff off, and they feel as though they can't be seen to be doing that and then spending money on sports sponsorship.

"But we have some irons in the fire, and we certainly won't be giving it away."

Hogan, who previously worked in rugby union with Jonny Wilkinson's club

Newcastle Falcons, said he was delighted by the supporters' response to the new campaign.

With season tickets sales already at record levels, there is certainly plenty of room for optimism at the JJB.

Warriors have sold 8,000 tickets for next season's campaign, which is an increase on the same period last year.

Hogan added: "Things are looking very healthy, with our season ticket sales up on last season at the first deadline, plus our merchandise sales are smashing all records.

"Our fans have responded in huge numbers to the initiatives we have taken and that's fantastic."

Meanwhile, Wigan have still to decide whether they will replace Joe Lydon, their former player performance executive.

Lydon linked up with the Welsh Rugby Union last month as their player performance coach.

Hogan said: "We are looking at the structure of the club, and we will announce some new members of staff shortly.

"Joe put a lot of good things in place, and he will be missed."

Wigan won't add any more fixtures to their pre-season schedule, which begins with a Christmas friendly against Warrington Wolves at the

Halliwell Jones Stadium on December 28.

Warriors fly out for their warm-weather training camp in the Canary Islands in early January.

When they return, they have two more friendly fixtures against Huddersfield at the Galpharm Stadium on January 25 before Leigh

Centurions host Warriors a week later.